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Health Regulation and Licensing Administration


COVID-19 Guidances and Best Practices

For the most up to date information on the District's response to COVID-19, including information on best practices, licensure waivers, and recommended guidelines, go to

Individuals may also call the Processing Center at 1 (877) 672-2174 to get an update on their pending application. If you are already in contact with a Health Licensing Specialist (HLS), please forward any documents to said HLS via email.


Arian Gibson
Senior Deputy Director


Hours of Operation: 8:15 am - 4:45 pm
2201 Shannon Place SE
Washington, DC 20020
Telephone: (202) 724-4900
Fax: (202) 724-5145

The mission of the Health Regulation and Licensing Administration (HRLA) is to protect the health of the residents of the District of Columbia and those that do business here by fostering excellence in health professional practice and building quality and safety in health-systems and facilities through an effective regulatory framework.

Office of Health Professional Boards

The Office of  Health Professional Boards administers the licensure of almost 70,000 health professionals in the District of Columbia supporting 19 health professional boards. The Office also executes the investigation of consumer incidents or complaints against health professionals, and recommends enforcement, if necessary, to bring licensees into compliance with District and Federal law. The health professional boards advise the Department of Health in matters pertaining to the development of rules and regulations for health professionals and provide additional services including licensure verification, and licensure examinations. Click here to learn more about our health professionals in the District.

Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Control Division

The Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Control Division (PPCD) licenses and regulates pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmaceutical distributors, and suppliers. PPCD also administers the District’s controlled substances registration program, which registers health professionals, pharmacies, and health facilities that receive, dispense and prescribe controlled substances in the District of Columbia. Facilities regulated include institutional and retail pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers. This Division also provides control substances registrations.

Animal Disease Prevention Division

The Animal Disease Prevention Division (ADPD) is responsible to prevent and control the spread of zoonotic diseases in the District.  This is done by strengthening surveillance, monitor animal care and control, improve investigations, enforce applicable laws, and increase the capacity of licensed providers (Veterinaries) to deliver high quality based services. DC Health staff at the Animal Control Facility conducts animal control and animal disease prevention services and assists the public with animal-related problems. The services are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and include, but are not limited to, animal disease control, rabies suspect control, stray animal control, dangerous dog control, licensing, enforcement, sterilization, and adoption.

Office of the Health Facilities

The Health and Intermediate Care Facility Divisions administer all District and federal laws and regulations governing the licensure, certification, and regulation of all health care facilities in the District of Columbia. In this role, HRLA staff inspects health care facilities and providers who participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, respond to consumer and self-reported facility incidents and/or complaints, and conducts investigations, if indicated. When necessary, HRLA takes enforcement actions to compel facilities, providers, and suppliers to come into compliance with District and Federal law. To learn more about each Division, please click below:

Division of Health Care Facilities

The Health Care Facilities Division (HCFD) licenses and certifies health care facilities for compliance with state and federal health and safety standards. HCFD ensures that these facilities comply with federal standards for participation in Medicare and Medicaid under Titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act. Facilities regulated include:  Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Correctional Facilities, End Stage Renal Disease Centers, Home Health Agencies, Hospices, Hospitals, Maternity Centers, Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs, Nursing Homes, Laboratories, and Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities.

Division of Intermediate Care Facilities

The Intermediate Care Facilities Division (ICFD) licenses and inspects Group Homes for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and certifies Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities that participate in the Medicaid program. ICFD conducts annual on-site and monitoring surveys to ensure the facilities maintain compliance with the health, safety, sanitation, life safety code and habilitative components of District and federal requirements.  Facilities regulated include: Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and Group Homes for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

Office of Food, Drug, Radiation and Community Hygiene

Division of Community Hygiene

Previously operating under the Food Safety and Hygiene Inspection Services Division (FSHISD), in 2020 The Division of Community Hygiene (DCH) was created, officially separating from the FSHISD. The Division was created bringing together a team of subject matter experts to regulate the Community Hygiene related services that are provided in Washington, DC.

Division of Food

The Division of Food inspects the city's 6,500 +/- food establishments. Those food establishments include commission merchants, dairies, delicatessens, bakeries, candy manufacturers, grocery stores, retail markets, ice cream manufacturers, restaurants, wholesale markets, and hotels. The staff for the Division includes a Program Manager, two Supervisory Sanitarians, a Staff Assistant, a Food Technologist, a Plan Reviewer, and 20 Sanitarians.

Radiation Control & Medical Devices Division

The Radiation Control & Medical Devices Division is responsible for the protection of District residents from the potentially harmful effects of ionizing radiation. Radiation is part of everyday life and can be used to produce diagnostic pictures of patients for physicians, dentists, and other medical practitioners. X-ray machines and radioactive materials are also used at public and private laboratories for a variety of industrial, engineering, and commercial applications. Radioactive materials are even used in some household products, such as smoke detectors.

Rodent and Vector Control Division

The Rodent and Vector Control Division (RCD) uses an integrated approach that includes public outreach and education, surveys and inspections, abatement, enforcement and cooperation with public and private partners. The District protects human health and the environment by reducing the rodent population and minimizing the risk of rodent-borne diseases, stress, and fear.

Learn about the District’s Medical Marijuana and Integrative Therapy Program